Former RUC Chief Constable Sir John Hermon was asked to stay away from the funeral of the most senior police officer to be murdered during the Troubles.
A statement from June Breen recounting the events in the last week of her husband's life was read into the record at the Smithwick tribunal by barrister Justin Dillon SC yesterday.
The widow of Chief Superintendent Harry Breen confirmed to the tribunal in Dublin yesterday that her husband had instructed her on several occasions to ask Sir John not to attend his funeral.
The chief constable did attend the funeral of the officer who was killed by the IRA alongside Mr Breen - Superintendent Bob Buchanan - but not that of Mr Breen.
Mr Breen and Mr Buchanan were killed in an ambush yards north of the border as they returned from a meeting in Dundalk Garda station on March 20 1989.
Mrs Breen remembered it as "a dark, wintry day". Her husband left home shortly after 8am, and telephoned her after midday.
When she first heard a radio report that two men had been shot near Jonesboro as she prepared dinner, she mistakenly thought they were IRA men, and thought to herself: "You are some mother's son but you are trying to kill Army or policemen".
Two hours later, two RUC officers called with the bad news.
Later, the tribunal heard from retired Garda chief superintendent Bernard King, who was in charge of the Cavan-Monaghan division at the time.
Mr King said he was concerned about the number and visibility of visits Bob Buchanan made to border Garda stations and spoke to him, following which the frequency declined. He said he was not aware of any allegations of a Garda mole in Dundalk, and had not been told of any concerns by the RUC officers.
He added his border superintendent Tom Curran had not passed on to him a report about a Garda mole from Buchanan, or a report that Buchanan was on an IRA "hit list".
Mr Curran said he had gone directly to Garda headquarters with the report of a Garda mole because he felt that copies of intelligence reports in the chief superintendent's office were "carelessly handled".
Mr King said he didn't know what reports Mr Curran was referring to and had moved confidential intelligence reports which were stored in the district office into his own office to take personal control of them for safekeeping.
The tribunal spent the remainder of the day hearing evidence in private session.